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Injected Nitro Dragster Question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by owen_64, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58


    Thank you guys for the detailed posts. So another question, this time pertaining to a 'glide clutch. Since the clutch is centrifugal, can you disengage it from the motor. As in, when you start the motor, are you on the brakes to keep it from rolling, or what? From my understanding, there is no pedal on the crowerglide type clutches? I know the pro fuelers all run those types of clutches, but I was listening to WFO Radio and John Force was talking about how he couldnt back up first round of eliminations a few races back. I had watched the race and Mike Dunn was saying something along the lines of the idle speed to too high to engage the reverser because they do not have a pedal, while John Force himself said on the radio that the pedal had fallen off. I would like to express my gratitude to every individual who has taken time from their day to help me understand this.
    Thank you,
  2. tad626
    Joined: Feb 25, 2007
    Posts: 49


    Modern day 'glides do have a clutch pedal. It really is only used to find the neutral space, when going from forward to reverse. If the idle rpm is to high, it will take away this neutral, which is why you sometimes see the car jump a little, when the driver tries to find reverse.
  3. Randy:
    There is an air gap between the disks and floaters.
    Everybodys is set up alittle different but .040" is about average.
    How the stall springs are set will determine when the car "creeps"
    You grab the brake handle when your guys are starting the car and have the clutch depressed to the neutral position.
    My opinion is first timers should have a pedal stop for the neutral position.
    My engine idles at 1600 RPMs
    I have my clutch set-up so it engages about 3000 RPM.
    I have to rev it up a little to get it to move so the clutch pedal is not needed.
    Big show blown fuel cars have it so when they let out the clutch it "tugs" the motor down about 200-300 RPMs depending on how the tuner sets it up.
    That set up does not work on a low HP unit like mine.

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  4. owen_64
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 58


    Thank you for explaining it for me. I think I have the basics of it now so I'm not completely lost when it comes to this. I apologize if I have already asked this question, but is there any good literature on these types of clutches, or is it all learned by on track experience?

  5. bardahl1
    Joined: Oct 16, 2005
    Posts: 347


    Don't take this the wrong way and I'm not trying to put down your mechanical experience or aptitude but - as others have said go put some time in helping with a fuel car learning from the bottom up before you try and do it yourself. Based on your questions you are not ready to go it alone.

    Nitro is some dangerous stuff, guys with years of experience can get hurt. I could explain to you how to start an unblown fuel motor, but I would never recommend it the first few times without someone actually there that has years of experience.

    I helped a guy a few years back that was an experienced mechanic, drag racer (super classes) and fabricator, was a very smart guy, bought standard late model parts, had phone help, sent the injector through the roof of his garage and sent 1 rod to the floor the first time he pulled the wires. Experience is more important the being smart.

    + you are trying to build something that there is really no "standard" tune up for. I have a lot of experience and I would have to give it a lot of thought and make a few phone calls to get close enough right away. Things like compression, timing, cam, clutch, pump, volume, etc are all open ended questions that will rely upon everything else you are doing. That motor doesn't know whether you are trying to be 'competitive' or not, if it gets unhappy it will cost you. Anything north of 50% can wipe you out any time you step on it, or even hit the trigger on the starter.

    Fuel cars are an OK starter point for driving, but not for tuning. Doesn't matter how smart you are you need to learn the basics first and get experience before you try and do it yourself. This means helping out on a car, not trying to figure it all out the first year, doing the grunt work, and keeping your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut. You are not ready to give it a tune up until you not only know that it needs a glide - but why. If you go out and crew for a few years and pay attention there is no reason you couldn't try and build what you want. applekrate is the kind of place you need to start at.

    My dad and uncle ran a Jr Fuel in So Cal in the late 60's and share your enthusiasm for recreating what had to be one of the coolest of all dragsters.

    Good luck with your ambition to join the 'circus', my best advice is to get your CDL before anything else.
  6. The way my Top Fuel car is run

    It has a pedal and a stop. Needs to be adjusted each time car is run.

    When the car is on the ground and ready to fire, driver holds brake with right hand and holds in pedal with left foot.
    Once it is fired up and checked out, driver gets the "OK" to burn out. He lets out the clutch by releasing the pedal just like a normal stick shift car. He stands on it through the burn out. At the end of the burn out, he pushes in the clutch pedal and stops the car. then puts it in reverse and backs up. When he gets the signal to stop, he pulls the brake lever and pushes in the clutch to stop the car. Then, puts it in forward gear. After he gets the ok, he, again, lets out the clutch will not use the clutch pedal again. He will prestage the car with the hand brake lever, then, once prestaged, switches the fuel system to the 'high' side, this lowers the idle a bit. Once on the high side, he inches the car into the stage beams with the brake lever.
    As rpm increases, so does the clamping force on the clutch. At the end of the run, the driver shuts off the fuel and pulls the chute. The engine rpms slowing the car down a bit until a certain rpm and then the clutch disengages automatically.
    In simple terms, think of a Crowerglide as an elaborate minibike clutch. Works the same way but, much stronger obviously and many adjustments.

    My cars normal idle is 2,5OO. The clutch stall is around 2OO rpm. This stall is always checked with the motor running in the pits on the stands before going to make a run.

    The 3 main things to adjust on the Crowerglide is the lash, the stall and the weight on the arms or the arms themselves in some cases.

    You can also buy clutches in different 'grits' just like sand paper but, we have not gone that far just yet.
    If you want literature on the Crowerglide, just call them and ask for one. They do have a basic instruction manual. It also may now be online too.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  7. snap too
    Joined: Dec 13, 2005
    Posts: 259

    snap too
    from lost wages

    Great advice from applekrate, who I know as Steve. FNG ,Owen take that mans advice , he has seen his dream in action , nobody and I mean nobody uses a 389 pontiac for a nostalgia top fuel motor except for maybe Mickey Thompson . Well shut our mouths, Steve is not BSing anyone ,he shows up with a Pontiac fueler and after some hicupps , gets it down the track and very well . Nitro will make you a very humble person. Any chance you can get to learn --do it !Spence AKA snaptoo

  8. Spence,
    Nice to hear from you! It has been too long. Thank you for the nice words too. We are trying as I cannot afford it and will be working on our goal to get the car in the 5s at over 24O. Been focusing on paying off a new acreage I bought and have a note on so the Fueler useage has been limited. We look forward to running a regular schedule again. For now, a few times a year.
    Spence, keep in touch.
  9. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,367

    c-10 simplex

    How was cu inches verified at the track?

  10. Hook up with Applekrate to get started.
    Travel is cheaper than hurting parts.

    Nitro has a steep($$$$) learning curve.
  11. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,956

    gas pumper

    Absolutly, this should be in bold and in caps.

    I'm with an Alcohol car, but we often run the same show with nitro cars. This summer I ran into one of the Nitro crews at the hotel I was at, we were racing in OH, This car was from PA. One guy came up from TX, another came up trom TN. The experiance is priceless to these guys.
  12. I was going to run my car this Saturday at a Pontiac Buick Olds event I am hosting but, now cannot. Will try to run in a few weeks. I did get an email and will answer it.
    also will be running April 1, 2 and 3.
  13. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,367

    c-10 simplex

    How did they verify cu inches at the track?
  14. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,814

    from Ks

    If you don't care about being competitive. You can build and race a budget FED on nitro. But I believe running that in between percentage deal is a waste. I'd start at 80-85%. All that tuning info off of the low %'s will be for nothing. Are you going to run a glorified alky engine? Or a nitro engine. Just me, I would run a 2.90 ish gear, direct drive with a reverser and a double disc glide type clutch with a Nost top fuel size tire. 12 or so wide. Powerglides and a convertor are a torque multiplier and leave you no tuning ability for track conditions. A 11 or 12 to one BBC would put you around 6.90's at 200 probably with low maintenance. % in the tank will depend on the conditions. You could run a bug on a Victor ram manifold and a hopped up vertex, 6amp or so and have a pretty low maintenance deal as soon as you got your combo sorted out. Remember, get your fuel system flowed! All of it, not just the pump! JMO Lippy:D Oh yeah, don't forget your stationwagon and open trailer. :D
  15. deucerails
    Joined: Mar 19, 2008
    Posts: 48

    from Manitoba

    At the Brainerd national event we had the bore and stroke measured with a digital caliper, in other words take the heads off. Thankfully our heads were off for routine maintenance. But if you set records NHRA will tear down the engine.
  16. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,367

    c-10 simplex

    Thanks. What other ways are there to accurately/somewhat more-or-less determine cubic inches at/in a race track tech setting?

    i'm trying to come up with a handicapped but no breakout low budget class for when/if i ever own a race track. Basically weight/cubic inches. Yes, i suffer from magical thinking. But miracles can and do happen from time to time.
  17. 150J/F
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 239


    c-10...cubic inches is usually checked at the track with a P&G guage. Remove
    any spark plug and remove the rockers from that cylinder. Screw the device into
    the spark plug hole and spin the engine over with the starter. Guage reading X number of cylinders = total displacement. NHRA tech guys can tell you where to buy
  18. LZ
    Joined: Sep 9, 2007
    Posts: 618


    At a local track before they went all bracket (years ago) they use to use one of these.
    Herd it called a few things back in the day. Its quirky and reliant on the person doing the test, engine VE, cam, etc. . But it was done and a tear down required protests or a bad test result.
    good luck
  19. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052


    In Australia we found that besides correcting for temperature using the chart that comes with the unit that it is also a good idea to correct for cranking speed. The sanctioning body down there (ANDRA) used a bunch of different motors of known capacity to develop a correction factor and after that was instituted we were able to get accurate numbers. We very rarely had to pull a head and we were dealing with everything from small four cylinder motors to stroker big blocks.

  20. Tom S. in Tn.
    Joined: Jan 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,108

    Tom S. in Tn.

    I can't recall how many times we headed out of town with nothing more than an empty block and crank in the car, a 56' 354 with a 3/8 stroker.

    Somebody's engine noise set an alarm off in a bank one night, so after that we never had a legal place to roll our car off to fire it until we got to a track somewhere. That, and our constable was waiting for us back at our shop one night when an old woman called him and said a car with a parachute had gone by her house.

    I recall a particular altered that went to the state semi weigh station along I-40 near Jackson, Tn. with a hwy patrol escort to settle a protest for about a $200 eliminator win one night.
    You really had to be there.
    Tom S. in Tn.

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